Sustainable Tourism in Action - Director’s Bay, Curaçao’s February Dive Site of the Month
As the local story goes, it is said that the late Queen Juliana, who was invited to this beach, was so afraid of fish that the Royal Dutch Shell Group caged in a section of the bay for her, to increase her enjoyment and ultimately to ease her mind so that she could relax. But you know, that’s just the story. The fact is that starting in the early 1900's until departing in 1985, the Directors of the Royal Dutch Shell Group and the Dutch Royal family used this bay exclusively and it was considered private. Now, the beach and surrounding area are open for public use.
As for the infamous fence or what is left of it, is in fact an old decaying surge protection device which is now laying on the floor encrusted in many beautiful corals and sponges. Diving here left (east) along the vertical wall towards Small Wall extends to a depth of about 15 meters and is home to most amazing underwater creatures, including sea horses, frogfish, eels, flounders and many more. A large octopus calls the rubble his home as well. Director's Bay truly is a great dive site for macro photography on Curacao. Going right (west), you can also reach the Tugboat but make sure you have arranged transportation back due to air limitations.
Coral Restoration out-planting Site
The Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao chose Director’s Bay as an out-planting location because it offers much-needed protection for the coral structures and a regular flow of nutrients brought in by the south easterly currents. CRF Curaçao has successfully now out-planted over 4000 corals at various popular dive sites along Curaçao’s southeastern coastline which includes several out-planting structures at Director’s Bay.
The Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao, originally founded in May 2015 by Ocean Encounters Diving, has “branched out” and expanded the nurseries by enlisting Atlantis Diving Curaçao and Scubaçao as CRF Curaçao affiliate members. In doing so, they can now provide triple the number of coral fragments available to be out planted back onto Curaçao’s fringing reefs.
“The significance of the Curaçao Reef Restoration Program is that together as a community here on Curaçao, we will be restoring our shallow water reef system while educating our youth about the importance of protecting and preserving our natural ecosystem,” according to Pol Bosch, CRF Curacao, who adds: “I believe programs like this help solidify a natural sustainability for future generations.”
Please respect the hard work of the numerous volunteers and do not touch any of the actively growing coral structures as you can see in the picture.
Project AWARE - Adopt A Dive Site
The Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association’s (CHATA) Dive Task Force in collaboration with the Project AWARE Foundation is committed to the Adopt a Dive Site™ initiative. With 14 adopted reefs around Curaçao, this group has pledged to conduct monthly Dive Against Debris beach and dive site clean ups. Today, this program has grown to fourteen diving operations who are investing in Curacao’s future and Director’s Bay is the latest site to be adopted! Now, Dive Against Debris™ events span from Director’s Bay to Playa Kalki in Westpunt.
“Scuba divers have a deep connection to the ocean and a desire to want to protect it. We love to mix the passion for ocean adventure with conservation,” says Project AWARE, a global movement for ocean protection.
Director’s Bay is a perfect sustainable tourism example of Project AWARE’s summary above. All that is left is for you to dive in and feel it for yourself! Discover Curacao, world class vacation and a must dive destination for 2019! For more information, contact a Curaçao Dive Task Force operator for Dive Travel Curacao Specials and to start your next Caribbean scuba diving adventure today!
Video and photos courtesy of Turtle and Ray Productions HD